Website ValueMarch 15, 2011
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When I entered the consulting field seriously in 2002 I knew I needed a professional webpage. I decided to take it seriously and designed an entire site with the help of Jon Roehm of heatbrain.com. It featured a professional photo, description of my work, testimonials, details of my consulting and speaking, and free articles to download. I was not prepared for the authority it conveyed and the quality of responses I received.
Immediately I was propelled into a league of professionals I held in high esteem. Most consultants at the time had amateur websites they had built themselves or – if you can believe it – paid others to cobble together. Presenting myself professionally paid immediate dividends. Clients treated me differently. People shared my site widely. I commanded higher fees.
In 2007 my practice had evolved and the value I was capable of generating had increased significantly. I wanted my site to match that so I upgraded. I never promoted the new site. I think it is silly to advertise marketing efforts. It is redundant. Nonetheless I received kudos from many for the look and feel and the new content, over 100 free articles and videos.
The videos of my speaking engagements made a huge difference. People could eyeball me instantly and make the decision as to whether or not I was a match for their audience. The number of engagements I received climbed quickly. I was soon speaking 30 or so times per year.
In 2010 I redesigned my site to align more closely to my offerings. I put my primary activities out front. The testimonials on the front page supported my central thrust. I made it easier for people to get to the areas I wanted to promote.
I intentionally included three unique images of me on the front page because I realized that I was the product. I wanted people to get to know me as fast as possible so they could decide if they wanted to work with me before they picked up the phone. I included a professional image, a more casual stance, and a video. The reception was great. When people call me to inquire about my speaking or consulting, they almost always refer to what they saw on the website.
This last summer my book, Getting Change Right, became a Washington Post bestseller so I promoted that on my front page. I created a little mini-site just for the book called, GettingChangeRight.com. It is easy to reference. I now write for Fast Company and the Washington Post. This raises my esteem and improves my brand, so I highlight both on the opening page.
My website is without a doubt my best strategic marketing tool. I keep it updated, constantly improving it. It provides interested parties with the overall picture of who I am and the value I can provide when they choose to engage me.